Los Angeles Lakers: How Kobe Bryant’s Age Is Important to Michael Jordan Debate

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan debates in regards to pure talent and stats have been ensuing for over decade, yet not not too much headway has been made as to who is the better player.

Some say Jordan, while others say Kobe, and after all this time, evident by the fact that it is still a hot debate, we do not have a clear winner.

We all know how important Jordan was to the Chicago Bulls. He led them to three NBA titles between 1991-93, and then three more spanning from 1996-98. Though the Bulls were still a playoff caliber team without Jordan, a championship only became within reach when he was on the court.

Kobe has been arguably as important to the Los Angeles Lakers' success. The team has won five NBA titles with Bryant, including a three-peat between 2000-02. Shaquille O'Neal proved to be a large part of Los Angeles' success as well, though once the Lakers traded him to the Miami Heat, it became clear it was Kobe's show.

Jordan is a career 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game player, while Kobe has put up similar numbers averaging 25.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists to date. 

The above information is important, yet it is virtually irrelevant for the sake of this discussion. Sure, the number of titles and roles played in said championship runs is relevant, but stats alone will not help us decide who was or is the better player and more integral part of their organization.

How will we know then?

By analyzing what becomes of Kobe as he begins his steady decline into retirement. Like it or not, Bryant is approaching 33, and his days as a high-octane, accolade producing shooting guard are numbered.

And it is this not-so-far-off decline of Kobe that may settle our debate once and for all.

How will the Lakers handle Kobe's decreased production and disappearing abilities? Will they ever send him to the bench? Would Los Angeles, dar...

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